Pros / It has built-in voice command software, so you can command the device verbally and keep your focus on the road.
Cons / It has to be paired with your smartphone in order to receive traffic information.
Verdict / Voice recognition and a smart design make this one of the top navigation GPS units on the market.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The TomTom GO 500 is a navigation GPS with premium functionality and a well-designed interface. It’s loaded with features, including free traffic alerts and maps of the United States, Mexico and Canada. Though it isn't quite as easy to use as our top three options are, its features and functionality make it one of the top GPS systems, especially considering its low price point.
The GO 500 comes preloaded with 7 million points of interest like restaurants and gas stations. With lifetime traffic alerts, you can avoid traffic delays and get to your destinations quickly. However, the only way to access these alerts is by connecting your smartphone to the device via Bluetooth, and then using your smartphone’s data connection to report on traffic conditions. TomTom estimates that if you use the traffic service one hour per day, you’ll use 7MB of data per month, which is a low amount. If the traffic on your upcoming route is bad, the GO 500 can suggest an alternate route for you.
The device’s best feature is its voice-activated navigation. You simply speak the voice prompt and then tell it the address you’d like to navigate to. This feature increases your safety while driving, as it helps you keep your hands and eyes on the road. Additionally, this is a convenient feature to have, as navigating the device’s interface is a bit of a hassle. There are a lot of icons and not all of them are intuitive, which may cause you to spend extra time trying to adjust settings.
The GPS navigator is less than an inch deep and has a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, same as the TomTom GO 50 S. Its internal rechargeable battery can last up to two hours per charge. The screen’s resolution measures 480 x 272 pixels, which is average for a GPS navigator device. You can only view the GO 500 in landscape mode, unlike other units. You can power it through the DC charger in your car, and the charger connects to the suction-cup mount. It also lets you pinch to zoom, just like on a smartphone.
TomTom’s customer service is available via email or phone, whichever you prefer, or you can check out the various informational resources on its website. TomTom offers a one-year warranty on the GO 500.
The TomTom GO 500 has voice recognition and lifetime map updates, and it comes preloaded with maps of North America. Though it’s dependent on your smartphone to provide up-to-the-minute traffic alerts, and it doesn’t have the most intuitive interface. Otherwise it is a powerful and capable car GPS.